My Mom is an alcoholic. Sometimes I wonder if that is where my issues with alcohol come from. My therapist suggested I attend an Al-Anon meeting. My Dad has suggested it for years but after hearing someone else recommend it I decided I should finally go.
"The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.
Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution: does not engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.
Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholic, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.
I googled meetings in my town and decided to try one last Friday afternoon. It was held at a local church and there were 35 women there!! I was surprised and saddened by the amount of people. And surprised that it was all women. The meeting started with a prayer and then we all went around and said our names and how we were feeling. Then the woman that was leading the group read a passage and following it we were given 5 minutes to meditate on the passage. After that people were given the opportunity to speak and share what was on their mind. One woman shared that she was excited to see her recovering alcoholic adult child for the weekend, one woman shared a heartbreaking story of bailing her alcoholic son out of jail and another woman cried about her husband and the bad choices he is making. It was nice to hear stories from other people that are in similar situations.
The meeting also showed me how drinking affects the other people in your life. Being the child of an alcoholic I thought I already knew but I left wanting to be a better person and work on my own issues with alcohol.
The central theme that I picked up from the meeting was that the situation with the alcoholic is out of our hands. Unfortunately, we can't fix them or change it. We can be supportive and we can help but ultimately the decision is theirs. It is up to a Higher Power. I left the meeting feeling relaxed and supported. It was the best free therapy! If anyone else is facing a similar family situation I urge you to go! My Mom has been battling with alcoholism for 15 years and it took me this long to attend. I am going to try to make this meeting part of my weekly routine.